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Tommy Stutzman "Elite Outfitter"
by Berry Gay
After many guided waterfowl hunts it takes a lot for something or someone to stand out in your mind. The things that seem to always stick are those hard roads, stinky blinds and your hung over guide. So you chalk those up as "lesson learned" and move on down the road. Should it be this way? Not if we have anything to say about it. Let me tell you about what we are calling an "Elite Outfitter". Tommy Stutzman runs a first class operation called Central Fly Game Calls out of Beaver Crossing, Nebraska. The hunting takes place in Oshkosh, NE located 3 hours drive time north of Denver. Now on to the hunt we had.
Load the gear and off we went, Don Jacobs, myself and Jake the pup. We had about a 3-4 hour drive ahead of us so we were on our way. The weather was warmer than I cared for at this time of year but ended up working in our favor. The roads were great no ice snow or inclement conditions. We arrived at Lewellen approximately 10pm where we hooked up the camper to electricity and stayed for the night. Sleep was slim knowing that we would be on a guided goose hunt in a few hours in the goose capital of the U.S.
I was very excited about the days ahead and knew that they would come and go so quickly. I was a little apprehensive about what to expect as I have hunted mostly swa's and public property for the last 20 years. I knew we would be hunting from a pit and welcomed the idea, but on the few occasions that I have hunted from a pit I have always been surrounded by sky busting idiots with the "Golden BB" theory. After seeing numerous wounded birds fly off along with hundreds of newly educated birds. I had decided pit hunting wasn't for me or so I thought.
5 am arrived quickly and we were on our way to Oshkosh to meet our guide, Todd Roth. He arrived shortly after us and instantly we could tell he was our kind of guy. Let me tell you now this guy knows his goose hunting. After a short drive from Oshkosh we arrived at the cornfield we were to hunt that day. What we found there was a spacious pit full of big foot decoys and shells. We started helping Todd unload all the decoys from the pit and hear the plan of attack.
Decoys set, heaters rolling we were snug in the pit awaiting the morning flights. What a setup so now what to expect my mind raced as we anxiously waited to see what was to come. Then the geese started coming off the river below and Todd reminded us of the tactics we were going to use. Basically he explained the kind of stuff I had only seen on TV. The birds we will target will be the small groups and they will be in close range before anyone shoots. That is when the calling began, I had a hard time believing my eyes or ears. Close hell more like on top of us!!!! This guy was putting geese so close we could have grabbed them.
Now with our geese in hand we needed to do something with them and Todd recommended a game processor, Lake Game Cleaning. Todd led the way back into town where we were to drop off the birds at Lake Game Cleaning. I was expecting to drop of the birds and they would be plucked and we would pick them up the next day. Well this place really knows their birds and we had quite a few options to choose from They could be turned into Jerky, Corned, Smoked, Breasted, and several more. I was a little leery of the jerky but Todd assured us it was good. He said he would bring some to sample the next day and so we had them prepare one that way.
The next day we setup primarily the same with wind in the same direction and the hunt was awesome once again. Todd kept to his promise and brought us some goose jerky. The goose jerky they make at Lake Game Processing was unbelievable. I thought they were pulling my leg and had actually used beef. So back to the Lake processing and this time 4 geese to be Jerkied, I am not kidding it is that good.
Well I could go on forever about this hunt there is so much I am sure I missed. Bottom line if you ever have the chance to book a guided hunt with the Central Flyway Game Calls do it!!!!!!!!!
Products that I personally saw work in the field on this hunt that I will use in the future.
1. Stutzman Goose and Duck calls.
2. Tow rope lanyards.
For more information on Central Flyway Game Calls
Visit their website at www.CallemClose.com or contact the at
Central Flyway Game Calls
608 Main Street
PO Box 68
Beaver Crossing, NE 68313